5th session of the Open-ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Revised Draft Optional Protocol

Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 1/3 of 29 June 2006, the Chairperson-Rapporteur, Catarina de Albuquerque, submitted a first draft optional protocol to the fourth session of the Open-ended Working Group. Based on the discussions held and proposals for amendments made during that session, the Chairperson prepared a revised draft (contained in A/HRC/8/WG.4/2) which was considered at the first part of the Working Group’s fifth session. Based on discussions held at the first part of the fifth session, the Chairperson prepared a new revised version (contained in A/HRC/8/WG.4/3) as a basis for negotiations at the second part of the fifth session (31 March - 4 April 2008). See Documents fifth session.

Following informal consultations with delegations held in Geneva, 25-28 February 2008, the Chairperson prepared, for the second part of the fifth session, additional drafting proposals concerning articles 4, 5, 8, 13 and 14. The Chairperson circulated these proposals to delegations on 25 March 2008 in English and French.

Programme of work

The programme of work for the fifth session will be made available on the internet after the Chairperson's informal consultations with members of each regional group, scheduled for 17-18 January 2008.


The Human Rights Council, at is first session in June 2006, decided to extend the mandate of the Working Group for a period of two years in order to elaborate an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right.

The Council, in paragraphs 1 - 4 of resolution 1/3:

"1. Welcom[ed] the report of the Working Group (E/CN.4/2006/47);

2. Request[ed] the Chairperson of the Working Group to prepare, taking into account all views expressed during the sessions of the Working Group on, inter alia, the scope and application of an optional protocol, a first draft optional protocol, which includes draft provisions corresponding to the various main approaches outlined in her analytical paper, to be used as a basis for the forthcoming negotiations;

3. Request[ed] the Working Group to meet for ten working days each year and to report to the Council;

4. Decide[ed] to invite a representative of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to attend these meetings as a resource person;"


The working group is open-ended. This means that all UN Member and Observer States, inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with ECOSOC consultative status may attend public meetings of the working group.

Dates and venue

The fifth session took place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva , room XII. The session has been split into two parts, due to be held from 4-8 February and 31 March-4 April 2008 respectively with daily meetings from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.


States, organizations and NGOs wishing to accredit representatives to the fifth session of the Working Group are invited to complete the registration form and send it together with their signed request for accreditation either by email isevin@ohchr.org (cc. uhalsteen@ohchr.org), by fax on +41 22 928 90 10 or by mail to UNOG-OHCHR, CH-1211 Geneva 10.

Registration prior to the session will ensure that a badge will be available from 8 am on 4 February and 31 March 2008 at the Security Identification Section located at main entrance to the Palais des Nations, Gate Pregny (opposite the building of the International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC), Avenue de la Paix, 1211, Geneva. The accreditation office will remain open from 8:00 to 17:00 during the session.